Boss Mark Warburton expects Lewis Macleod to make a significant impact on Brentford’s Championship promotion charge this season.

The 20-year-old full Scotland international is yet to play a match for his new club since switching from fallen Scottish giants Rangers in the January transfer window.

MacLeod arrived at the club with a hamstring problem and just when it appeared likely he would make a return he aggravated the issue in a training ground accident.

Warburton has mentioned several times in recent weeks that the midfielder is closing in on a return, but he is not willing to risk one of the club’s prized assets in the hope he can add something to his squad.

And he has assured fans that when the day comes for Macleod to make his debut, it will be when he is certain it will have been well worth the wait.

“The second injury he picked up was a complete freak. He was actually just jogging around the training ground with the physio and stepped down a rabbit hole and that set him back,” he said.

“He is a full Scotland international at the age of 20 and is a very talented player. You only have to see him in training to know that and he is training well.

“He is going to have an impact on our season because he is a top talent, but we have to give him the chance to get back to the football he was playing before he signed.

“It is not fair on him or the fans to bring him back sooner. He has got to be better than Toumani Diagouraga, Stuart Dallas, Alan Judge, Jon Toral and Alex Pritchard before he gets a chance.

“And when he gets the chance, I’m sure he will make an impact.”

Meanwhile, Warburton thinks Sam Saunders and Nico Yennaris they will also have a part to play in his side’s promotion push.

The pair have starred on loan at League Two Wycombe Wanderers in recent weeks and are set to return to Griffin Park on March 29.

And Warburton insisted their temporary departures were not the first step to exiting the Bees on a permanent basis.

“There is no point having two talented players in the squad if they are not match fit,” he added.

“They want to be playing and they have done that at Wycombe. They have one game left and will come back in to the squad.”